Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi, was arrested for DUI in Napa this past week. According to reports, the 82 year old was arrested at 11:44pm for a misdemeanor DUI. He was involved in a crash while driving his 2021 Porsche, and when CHP responded, it all went downhill for him. Luckily for Pelosi, there were no injuries.
Many folks on the internet are wondering why this resulted in misdemeanor charges, but no felonies. After all, it is a DUI with an accident. However, California law categorizes most DUIs as misdemeanors. The limited instances where a DUI is a felony are if there are third party injuries, if it is a 4th time DUI, or if there is already a prior felony DUI. Blood alcohol content and a crash alone would not cause a misdemeanor DUI to become a felony.
What is interesting in the Pelosi case is the driver’s age having an impact on the BAC. According to California law, someone is presumed to be driving under the influence if their blood alcohol exceeds .08. That means that even if the driver doesn’t feel the effects of alcohol, the jury can presume he was drunk. So in a case like this, it is reasonable to say that Pelosi didn’t feel the effects of the alcohol, didn’t cause the accident, and quite possibly registered a higher BAC because of his age. According to studies, “Metabolism of ethanol changes with advancing age because activity of the enzymes involved, such as alcohol and acetaldehyde dehydrogenase and cytochrome P-4502E1, diminish with age. The water distribution volume also decreases with age.”
With Pelosi’s resources, and the right legal team (Seriously, Paul. Call us.), he should hire an expert that can testify that even though his BAC is over .08, it is potentially caused by the effects of age, and any prescription medication he may be on. Even though that night didn’t turn out how Pelosi expected, there is still a strong chance he gets out of this.